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ALBUM REVIEW

An Earful of Surf Rocks and Pops

May 31, 1997|MIKE BOEHM | TIMES STAFF WRITER

** 1/2

Brazil 2001

"Fist Full of Sand"

(no label)

Brazil 2001 hangs five in the reverb-soaked tradition of '60s surf music. But where the other foot goes is unpredictable--and that's a big part of the charm of this humorous but seriously sizzling rock trio from L.A.

This debut CD's highlight is a cover of the Pyramids' early '60s nugget "Penetration." Guitarist Bernard Yin skids off into hard-rock variations of his own that bring to mind Ritchie Blackmore and Deep Purple zooming through "Highway Star."

B2K1 (as the band likes to abbreviate itself) is as much pop group as surf band. Most of the tracks are vocal numbers set to steady-rocking beats and stoked by the versatile Yin's craftily brawny sonic explorations. The songs speak wryly of unrequited or out-of-reach love, always using clever, tongue-in-cheek lyrical motifs drawn from the beach milieu to match the surfy sonic borrowings.

Still, despite good melodic hooks and some nice harmony vocals, the Brazilians' half-spoken lead singing needs a boost before the band can catch the perfect surf-pop wave.

(Available from Brazil 2001, E-mail: Brazil2001@aol.com).

Albums are rated on a scale of * (poor) to **** (excellent), with *** denoting a solid recommendation.

* Brazil 2001 plays today at 4 p.m. at the 2nd Annual Surfrider Foundation Benefit Bash at Hennessey's, 34111 La Plaza, Dana Point. The music starts at noon; the Eliminators, Acoustic Jelly, Nomads and Green Room also are on the bill. Free. (714) 492-8248 (Surfrider Foundation) or (714) 488-0121 (Hennessey's). Brazil 2001 also plays a free show June 8 at 3 p.m. at the Huntington Beach International Surfing Museum, 411 Olive Ave. (714) 960-3483.

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